"The work that we do creates positive disturbances or positive movement in our students’ lives and in our communities. We seek change in our society; the status quo is not acceptable. We seek to be agents of beneficial change for our children and the communities we serve. Most importantly, we strive to instill in our children the awareness that they are gifted and have a responsibility to share their gifts and thereby make a difference in their lives and the lives of others."
Providing The Educational Opportunities That Change Lives
Opportunities That Change Lives
Making Waves was founded more than 20 years ago when an investment banker worked with a local pastor in one of the most underserved cities in California to offer low-income students the same academic and developmental supports that families in the nation's most affluent communities enjoy.
"Throughout the history of the organization, our mission has been to save lives by giving our most challenged citizens an educational pathway to success," says Making Waves co-founder John H. Scully, who has seen the program grow from an after-school tutoring and mentoring program serving 46 students in Richmond in 1989 to a multi-city initiative that has served nearly 1,000 "Wave-Makers," with more than 200 of them currently attending over 30 colleges nationwide. With a budget of more than $24 million for financial year 2009-2010 and a staff of 324 (132 full time and 192 part time), Making Waves now manages a charter middle school (Making Waves Academy) and two year-round after-school programs (Making Waves Education Program, Richmond and San Francisco), while simultaneously developing a new combined middle and high school campus in Richmond.
Today, Making Waves is establishing a high school campus on a site adjacent to the middle school, and we are continuing to expand our reach in the San Francisco Bay Area. Making Waves is also creating an alumni network to support our graduates once they complete college, offering them opportunities to continue their educational endeavors, advance their professional careers, and serve their communities.
Making Waves offers an unparalleled education program that helps urban young people acquire the skills necessary to gain acceptance to and graduate from four-year colleges and universities.
The program is built around a set of core values that are crucial to ensuring not only academic success, but also the formation of Wave-Makers who are good citizens concerned about social justice and the betterment of the community and society.
Making Waves ensures that low-income young people gain the support and skills necessary to enter – and graduate from – four-year colleges and universities, go on to well-paying careers, and take on leadership roles in their communities.
| John H. Scully, SPO Partners
|The late Rev. Eugene Farlough, Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church in Richmond|
In 1989 Making Waves was established by John H. Scully, Managing Director of SPO Partners, and the late Reverend Eugene Farlough, pastor of Sojourner Truth Presbyterian Church. Forty-six students from Richmond, California, were chosen to begin an after-school tutoring and mentoring program. A second program was established in 2001 to address underserved youth in San Francisco.
In the fall of 2007 we opened Making Waves Academy in a temporary facility, a four-year charter middle school in Richmond with 400 students in fifth through eighth grades. In 2009 Making Waves Academy celebrated the opening of its permanent home in Richmond. The campus is a state-of-the-art modern facility with a library and technology center at its core; science labs; specialized art and music classrooms; an outdoor, edible garden; and laptop computers for student use.
Founded out of a concern about disparities in educational opportunity, Making Waves works to encourage students to understand and explore:
- The rich history of the people who live in our communities;
- The fortunate circumstances in which they live as Wave-Makers;
- Their own responsibility to give back to their communities and to exert control over their own lives; and
- The true meaning of being an agent of change.
Making Waves believes that all children have the right to high-quality educational opportunities, to feel safe, and to prepare themselves for self- sufficiency. Wave-Makers strive to be fair and just and to treat others with respect. Each student is reminded to consider his or her own likes, biases, and prejudices and to appreciate a variety of perspectives. Wave-Makers are taught to master effective communication skills (including writing and public speaking) and to understand the effects of their actions and words. Students consider the impact of their decisions and behaviors on others and seek to advance what is in the best interest of all.
Wave-Makers embody the following core values:
- Integrity—Wave-Makers are honest and ethical in their words and actions.
- Resilience—Through hard work and perseverance, Wave-Makers do not let anything get in the way of their success.
- Self-Determination—Wave-Makers are agents of change with the power to define themselves and control their destiny.
- Investment in the Future—Wave-Makers show commitment and dedication to their long-term goals by being reflective and acting with foresight.
- Scholarship—Wave-Makers are life-long learners who aspire to – and achieve – academic excellence.
- Critical Consciousness—Wave-Makers use their intellect and critical thinking skills to make healthy choices and to effect positive changes in their lives.
- Responsibility—Wave-Makers are accountable for their decisions and actions and their impact on self and community.
- Dignity and Respect—Wave-Makers respect themselves and others and honor their heritage. They believe each person is valuable.
- Community—Wave-Makers practice what it takes to recycle their successes by helping others. They readily share their talents and are supportive of each other.
- Justice—Wave-Making requires active participation in the ongoing struggle for social equality.
- Peace—Wave-Makers resolve conflicts with compassion and help others do the same.